We meet our boat

I realise I haven’t explained what and ma are actually doing on our trip. We’re spending five days on a boat trip down the Mekong, visiting temples and floating markets and sunsets and landmarks and ending in Phnom Penh seeing S-21 and the killing fields.

But today was about meeting our boat, the staff, and the eighteen fellow passengers on it.

And so far it’s all I had hoped.

Despite exhaustion from yesterday seeping through, despite social anxiety screaming at me to stop, despite mosquito bites and humidity and awkwardness and age difference,

I’ve had a nice day.

The boat seems full of lovely, educated, fascinating and diverse people, us being the only people from England, the rest from USA or Canada or Australia. All seemingly making an effort (apart from me, opting to sit on asseverate table and write this instead of engage in. My second conversation of the night about real estate and tax prices), all seeming worm(ish) and open(ing).

But for me what I love is the boat,

the look of the water parting as we pierce the sea,

The waves glistening and catching the sun, seeming to hold onto the light and turn it into crystal,

The sound of the boat’s side being lapped, in a constant, steady, reliable pattern of whoosh on whoosh,

The realisation how trivial the small issues really can be.

Because when the things that could upset a person for months passes in a second,

You realise just how much time we waste,

So don’t waste the time you have

Love, Hea xx

Vietnam- day one that actually counts as a day

So, me and ma are only in Ho Chi Minh city for today, only one day, and boy, did we make the most of it. 

Waking up early (well, not really early as such, but for a generic teen like myself- early) we began with a very quaint but European (ironically) style café and coffee. Deciding to be girls on tour, we begin to walk towards a famous market and were confronted with something I could only dream of. The most beautiful and eclectic and raw scents, the most smiley and friendly and 

Happy people. Happy being the optimum word. I think Vietnam is rated eighth in the happiest countries in the world, and being here I can see why. Kids playing Badminton and shapes by the sides of the road, giggling to each other, honestly, genuinely smiling, friends sitting around tables and chairs we would deem fit for four year olds, and laughing in a way that made me want to join, people that just smiled at you on the street-

You could feel the life of this place. The life and soul, the animation and the heart beating hard,

And it wasn’t just about the fact that a full meal can cost as little as five pounds, or that there wasn’t a second that passed without the blare of a horn,

It was the fact that there was so much less corruption of phones and money and facebook and instagram and twitter and snapchat and

Stop. They stopped. They mainly couldn’t afford iPhones or androids, just flip phones used for, you know, phoning people

And this isn’t even a rant about technology, so, anyways,

We went on to a ‘golden dragon water puppet show’ which was… an… experience? I’m fairly sure it was a cult but apparently there was a plot and it was extremely well done and, um, memorable, let’s go with memorable,

And we returned to a moped tour of the city.

And I can not imagine that being something I’ll ever forget. 

The feel of wind on my face, in my hair, while the group flew out beneath me like a carpet being pulled, the lights that flashed to the left and the right and the front and the back

And the fluidity of the movement of the traffic, the gentle hum of the street all around, the view of the city as it passed

It felt more like home than a vacation.

We tried local food, saw the view of the city from a skybar (photo attached) and we had a day that I think I’ll genuinely treasure for a long time,

So first actual experience of Asia? 

Breath taking

Love, Hea xxa

Vietnam- day one

So, we made it! After eighteen hours of travel, what felt like eighteen years of queuing and what feels like eighteen seconds of rest- me and ma made it!

Now, I’ve been to Asia before, apparently, but I was far to young to remember a second of what happened-

And just walking out of the airport made me realise

This was something new.

We walked out to a noise to fill a theatre, smells to fill a restaurant-

And people to star in kids’ shows, because of their smiles, their ear to ear grin, their seemingly genuine joy to have you with them, have you sharing and seeing a culture that they’re so immensely proud of.

This is short, I know it is, but I’ll write more about mopeds and LED lights tomorrow, but for now it’s time for a break,

So until tomorrow

Love, Hea xx

the beach memory i hope to have

I don’t know if i want kids. I’m very young and not many, if any, people know what they want at this age. But if i were to, i’d hope for a moment like this to write about. Their firsts when it feels like you have none of your own. I’m warning you all, i’m going to Vietnam and Cambodia so, firstly, I’m not sure if i’ll be able to post things, but if i can there will most likely be a post everyday, so look out for that. I hope you enjoy-

My favourite beach memory? Easy. Most people, it’s how they learned to swim, or the first time they saw the sun infuse diamonds into the water, the gorgeous crystal clear sapphire blue of the water. For me?

Among the emerald stage of the colour gradient stood a little girl, in the classic red and white spotted bikini with the ruffles around the waist, and she just giggled. Stumbled as kids do, while splashing the water above her head and the look of pure, untainted, unadulterated bliss warmed my heart,

Almost as much as the sand below my feet did as I called her towards me, arms out and her eyes fill with joy as she shouts,

‘mama’

Love, Hea xx

a quote

this is unquestionably the shortest one i’ve done and probably the shortest i will do- it’s just a quote. one to remember when you feel like you’re too single or you can’t find the right person or that all the people you have been with have treated you badly-

‘we accept the love we think we deserve’

-the perks of being a wallflower

that’s all you get.

just think about it

love, hea x

You shouldn’t be made to feel weak for feeling  

I’m not going to give you any of that, ‘toxic masculinity’ spew which you’ve heard one too many times. Nor am I going to try and get through to people who won’t either read this or even care. But I was having deep conversation with a boy who’s been through something awful and he kept on apologising and apologising and when I finally asked him why he was sorry he says, ‘because I’m being such a pussy’.

I’m talking to another boy about some deep and heavy topics and what he’s going through and he says, ‘I don’t talk about this stuff much, it makes me feel weak.’ Intrigued by this link, of talking about feelings equating to weakness, I ask a guy whether he feels like he can show his emotions or hurt to the people of the same gender and he said, ‘not unless I was to be called a fag.’

When you’re upset about something, big or small, about family or friends or foe or anything in-between, surely you’d want to be able to talk about it? To be able to show you’re upset? You’d want to know you have friends, well, not even friend, but an environment where you feel like it’s okay to? 

Plenty of people reading this, and yes I am planning on sending this to people in particular who I think would benefit from reading this, will be thinking ‘but it’s such a ‘gay’ thing to do to cry’ or ‘it makes them a ‘pussy’’ or just be thinking that it makes a guy weak to cry,

But why?

Put aside what ‘you think a guy should be’. Put aside what your parents do or what your friends do,

Why shouldn’t boys be allowed to cry?

They’re allowed to laugh without being mocked, right? Allowed to smile? Allowed to joke around? Well then, why shouldn’t they be allowed to cry or be upset or talk about something deeper or more intellectual than last nights’ football game?

So this is a plea to all. If you’re a girl, then don’t laugh at or seem surprised or even make jokes because a guy cried.

And to guys?

Be the friend you’d need when you’re upset. Don’t think it’s ‘cool’ or ‘hot’ not to show your emotions. Don’t thinking that feeling is a sign of weakness,

When in reality it’s just strength,

Love, Hea xx

don’t just look- see

“What do you see?,” I ask him, my eyes transfixed on the swirling mass of white fluff dappling the too blue, true blue, sky,

Spiralling, it begins as a dolphin, swimming in the sea of the sky, the above above our world, and turns into

A mermaid singing songs to the sailors ships, siren-like in her appeal and song, her powers of persuasion but changes into

A bird. Right at home among his own, soaring above cities, swooping and flying and riding the breeze like a wave, and for him, just living and now becoming

A girl. A sweet little girl. A sweet kind innocent little girl, unexposed to the big bad world, so simply being, laughing, singing- simply simple, but she grows up into

A bottle. What of? If only she’d know. Something bad for your health, your liver, and even worse for your judgement, something pouring into the blue, flooding it,

And the man beside me peels his eyes from his LED lights,

Glances impassively at the sky,

Glances impassively at me and says,

‘A cloud’-

And falls back into the world of a phone,

While forgetting his own.

Love, Hea xx